Agiasos and the Chestnut Festival

Agiasos is built on the slopes of Mount Olympus, surrounded by chestnut and pine forests. In the autumn the village holds a chestnut festival.

The picturesque village is filled with visitors from all over Lesvos, some from Greece and a few from further afield.

Massive piles of chestnuts are gathered locally and offered for sale. Chestnuts are boiled in huge pots or roast over open files to give to visitors to enjoy. The mix of steam and smoke can make the village quite surreal. Tavernas and Kafeneions are full and the entire village buzzes with voices. The annual chestnut festival is a fantastic day out in a stunning location. 

Agiasos is also a centre for wood carving and carpentry and some of the workshops can be visited on the main streets. The skill of these craftsmen is just amazing. They hand make furniture and items for churches all over the island. I stood in one workshop and breathed in the heady aroma of freshly worked wood. My father was a carpenter and I was instantly transported back 40 years to his workshop.

Agiasos is best known for Panagia ti Vrefokratousa. Pilgrims walk from Mytilene to Agiasos (approximately 40 km) to pay tribute to the miracle working icon on the feast day of the Panagia (August 15th). The icon was brought from Jerusalem by the priest Aghathon around 803. The church is beautiful and cool inside, even on the warmest sumer days.

It is best to park at the bottom of the village and walk up through the narrow streets. There are many places to eat and you will mostly enjoy the company of Greeks, both local and visitors to the famous church.

1st December 2012 Agiasos suffered devastating floods and landslides. Click here to see more.

3 thoughts on “Agiasos and the Chestnut Festival

  1. Sounds wonderful Robin : very Autumnal. We’ve visited Agiasos in the summertime over the years and always enjoy watching the woodworkers carving those intricate patterns . The ceramics are special too . The village is surrounded by lovely countryside and we enjoyed climbing up to the nearby Castelli . One day we will be there for the chestnut festival ! Thanks for this very informative site .

  2. I’ll be on Lesvos October 2019 and am staying in Agiasos for 4 days then head to Molyvos for 4 days then a final 2 days in Mytilene.

    I’ve been planning on Lesvos for a number of years but finally got a great price for a flight from Athens to Mytilene then booked with Airbnb for Agiasos. Still looking for a good place in or near Molyvos.

    Have consider the Alkaios Rooms or Porto Lesvos in Mytilene.

    I’ve done lots of research on the island so have a good idea of what I’m doing.

    In addition my grandparents immigrated from Lesvos in the early 1900s. One is from the village of Filia which I’ll head to and try to find any relatives. The other one’s village is still a work in progress.

    Can’t wait for Oct. 2019!

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